Inside The Creative Brain
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Transcript of Inside The Creative Brain
Professor Billy O’[email protected]
Head of Teaching and Research in Physiology
Graduate Entry Medical School
University of Limerick
Inside the Creative Brain
Number of synapsesAbout 100 trillion
THE BRAIN’S VITAL STATISTICS
Number of neuronsAbout 100 billion neurons
Certain parts of the brain govern specific functions
HOW DO WE ACQUIRE CREATIVITY?
Enriched enviornment Deprived environment
= Challenge, autonomy, complexity, a connection
between reward and effort.
= Avoidance,dependence, monotony, isolation,
Credit: NYU Langone Medical Center
THE BRAIN IS SHAPED BY ENVIRONMENT
1. Energy & drive yet sleeps a lot
2. Smart yet naïve
3. Playful yet disciplined
4. Imaginative yet rooted in reality
5. Introverted yet extraverted
6. Shy yet assertive
7. Male yet female - tolerance of ambiguity
8. Rebellious yet conservative
9. Willingness to take risks
10.Passionate yet objective
11.Aware of the importance of luck
12.Not interested in past accomplishments
13.A sensitivity to pain & loss
Creativity : The work and lives of 91 eminent people
The orbitofrontal cortex (arrow) responds to mistakes that change behaviour.
The feeling that things have turned out differently than expected.
The feeling that a decision needs to be made.
(UPSIDE DOWN VIEW)
This brain area matures later in humans compared with other brain areas.
Thus education and mentoring is essential for young innovators.
CREATIVITY INVOLVES MAKING DECISIONS
WHY DOES THE BRAIN SEEK CREATIVITY?
Creativity in a crisis – the hallmark of the human condition
CAN DRUGS ENHANCE CREATIVITY?
Exercise increases ‘neurogenesis’ (growth of neurons) in the hippocampus - a region important for memory and implicated in cognitive aging.
CAN EXERCISE ENHANCE CREATIVITY?
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A 104(13):5638-43 (2007). http://www.sfn.org/index.aspx?pagename=publications_rd_alzheimers
Areas affected by normal aging
Areas affected in AD
Warmer colours indicate higher levels of nerve growth factor in the hippocampus of [A] exercising animals compared to [B] sedentary animals - blue indicates the lowest level.
The outstanding feature of human beings
is free will.
‘He who has a why to live can bear with
almost any how.’ Nietzsche.’
Logotherapy = the will to meaning (purpose)
CREATIVITY & MENTAL
The three ways to meaning
1. Creating a work, doing a deed.
2. Experiencing something or encountering
3. Our approach to suffering.
Man’s search for meaning
"I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only
very, very curious."
Discussion & Questions
INSIDE THE CREATIVE BRAIN